Times of India reports that the entry-level tablet’s specifications are currently being finalized but claims that the government will demand that the model has a 7-inch 800 x 480 resolution display, at least 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and the Android Jelly Bean OS (presumably Android 4.1).
What is less clear though is whether UK vendor Datawind will continue working on the project. The manufacturer developed the first three versions of the Aakash tablet, but the firm’s relationship with the government has since deteriorated because of missed deadlines and withheld payments.
ZDNet’s Nitin Puri has an extensive breakdown of the history of [...]
The news underscores the growing popularity of tablets as a worldwide phenomena that is likely to stoke both application development and lower hardware costs. If elected, the opposition Labour Party has said it would distribute a tablet computer to every eight-year-old school child.
Only two hours after that tablet pitch, Reuters reports that Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi upped the ante, detailing his Nationalist Party’s electoral program that plans to give tablets to all school children aged between 5 and 16.
Reuters notes that bloggers in the region are having a field day mocking the politician’s largesse, comparing them to both Father Christmas and Moses [...]
The country has long since been looking at using tablets, and has previously talked with Datawind – the maker of the Indian Aakash tablet – as well as other manufacturers, most of whom were believed to be from China. As it is, government officials surprisingly ended up contracting little-known Chinese company, Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development.
The contract is expected to be signed later this month, and the tablets are due to arrive before the new school term in May. It has been reported that the small Chinese company won the contract after offering the lowest price of $81 for each 7-inch touchscreen tablet, beating off competition from much larger Chinese [...]
The Aakash, which has a 7-inch screen and which runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) has to date been tested by around one million Indian students, but the Indian government has hopes of eventually bringing the tablet to as many as 10 million students across the country.
However, despite the initial optimism, the project now seems to have hit a snag, with Datawind now being criticised for missing contractual deadlines, and for failing to provide an adequate customer service platform. The Indian government was also reported to be unhappy about some defects with the first batch of delivered tablets, and has hinted that Datawind may not be kept on for the remaining of the [...]
Speaking to TabTimes at an event in London yesterday, Datawind’s Alia Khan revealed that the Indian government has asked for an improved version of the Aakash with better specifications, and said that these enhanced models will fill the rest of the tender with the Indian government.
Specifically, the improvements include a faster, more powerful 700MHz processor, a better battery and a capacitive touchscreen. Khan said that these tablets will also make their way to the commercial market (under the UbiSlate branding) in the near future, with the first models expected to hit UK in late February or early March from £99 (approximately $155).
There are no [...]